Clinton Remained Silent As Wal-Mart Fought Unions

Clinton spokesperson Howard Wolfson said, "There is no basis to return" the money.

According to the New York Times, Sen. Clinton "maintains close ties to Wal-Mart executives through the Democratic Party and the tightly knit Arkansas business community." The May 20, 2007 article also reported that her husband, former President Clinton, "speaks frequently to Wal-Mart's current chief executive, H. Lee Scott Jr." and held a private dinner at the Clinton's New York home in July 2006 for him.

President Clinton defended his wife's role on the Wal-Mart board last week after the issue was raised by Sen. Barack Obama in a CNN debate.

His wife did not try to change the company's minds about unions, the former Arkansas governor said.

"We lived in a state that had a very weak labor movement, where I always had the endorsement of the labor movement because I did what I could do to make it stronger. She knew there was no way she could change that, not with it headquartered in Arkansas, and she agreed to serve," President Clinton said.

In a written statement, Clinton spokesperson Wolfson said, "As President, she will fight alongside labor to promote the economic growth of America's middle class." He said Clinton strongly believes Wal-Mart workers should be able to unionize and bargain collectively.

He did not directly respond when asked why she did not quit the board over the company's anti-union efforts. "Wal-Mart was Arkansas's largest employer when Sam Walton asked Sen. Clinton to join the board," he said. "As the first woman to join Wal-Mart's board, she worked hard to make it a better corporate citizen."

In its statement, Wal-Mart described Sen. Clinton as "a valuable contributor" who "pushed us to be a better company."

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